How To Assess Thoracic Spine Mobility

Thoracic spine mobility is vital for shoulder health and performance during all loaded overhead movements.  An unfortunate trend I’ve noticed with my articles is that people care far more about mobility exercises then they care about assessments for the same area.  Now, wouldn’t you think that knowing whether or not you have a mobility restriction would be more important than knowing mobility exercises for a particular area?  Wouldn’t it be smarter to assess before we start firing off 25 different mobilizations?

Of course it would be.  So we should assess first, always.

I tend to use the SFMA lumbar locked thoracic extension and rotation test for thoracic spine mobility as well as a basic down dog assessment.  The down dog assessment is fast and easy.  Check it out below.

So now you have a nice and easy thoracic spine extension mobility assessment before you start firing off mobility when it isn’t warranted.

Want to learn more about how to assess the thoracic spine and to find other great exercises to mobilize it?  Check out Dr. Dave Tilley and my product:

Monkey Method – Movement Essentials

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Fixing Technical Flaws in the Handstand, Muscle-up and Olympic Lifts

Flexy T-spines everywhere,

Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS

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